Whenever winter comes, much of your DIY construction projects will grind to a halt. However, if you want to continue work on various concrete projects to keep yourself busy all year instead of overloading yourself the summer, know that concrete work is still possible. Adherence to specific suggestions will make this work for you so you don't waste your time or end up with a concrete patch that needs to be cut up and redone. Consider these work tips.
A common problem is frozen soil when it's cold. You may already have surmised that concrete will harden and when temperatures go up and the soil expands, you'll have to worry about multiple surface cracks because of that. Your first task, then, is to use heating blankets to warm up the soil. If this isn't successful, you may wait for some time before soil thermometers reveal that soil isn't frozen.
If at all possible, don't just pour valuable concrete on winter soil at all. Whether you need to dig up soil or can simply pour on top, a sturdy base is preferable. A base of vinyl or other material will permit you to pour and have confidence that the finished product will retain its looks months from now. However, if you use the base above ground, realize that finished concrete may need additional reinforcement so that it remains in place. For instance, brick pavers or other kinds of boundaries to discourage movement may be needed.
Even if you're attempting to do this yourself, realize that even if you acquire some low-water pouring mix, that cold temperatures mean there needs to be some pep in your step as you work. By enlisting assistance from friends or professionals, you can get pouring completed before freezing or drying has begun.
The curing or drying process must be controlled so cracks, lumps and bubbles don't create problems for your work. This will take some help from multiple curing blankets that are securely placed over the concrete. You may use some planks on them to stop wind from blowing them off the concrete. The blankets can then be covered by tarps, if you like. This allows drying to happen without interference from snow or rain.
Your work need not wait. Just proceed carefully and consider these concrete details. If you need assistance choosing concrete products or getting the project off the ground, concrete professionals, like Pendleton Ready Mix Inc, can help.